Listen to a reading of this article:

In a major walkback from his campaign pledge to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” for human rights abuses like the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, President Biden will reportedly visit Riyadh with the goal of persuading Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to help the US alliance win its economic war against Russia.

The Guardian tells us the trip “suggests Biden has prioritized his need to bring oil prices down and thereby punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, over his stand on human rights.”

So in order to punish Vladimir Putin for his war crimes and his assault on freedom and democracy, Biden will be courting a tyrannical war criminal whose country has no freedom or democracy.

Washington will be ending its brief diplomatic dry spell with a government that has been waging a horrific war against Yemen while suppressing any semblance of human rights at home in order to more effectively punish Putin for waging a horrific war against Ukraine which we’re told threatens freedom and democracy throughout the western world.

I am not the first to note the risible irony of this development.

“The Biden Administration is openly planning to pay homage to one [of] its closest allies — one of the most despotic and murderous tyrants on the planet, the Saudi Crown Prince — at the same time it convinces Americans its motive for fighting wars is to defend freedom and democracy,” tweeted Glenn Greenwald.

“The EU literally just banned oil from Russia (mimicking the United States’ actions) because they don’t want to give money to a ‘dictator’. So Biden is travelling soon to Saudi Arabia to try and bring energy prices down– which is a vibrant democracy, as you all know,” tweeted Richard Medhurst.

“As part of mobilizing support for the great war for ‘freedom’ in Ukraine, Biden will be visiting the great beacon of ‘democracy,’ Saudi Arabia this month. What’s a little murder and dismemberment between friends?” tweeted Joseph Kishore.

Indeed, one wonders if perhaps Putin could settle this whole conflict by staging a few mass beheadings and dismembering a Washington Post reporter with a bone saw to get on America’s good side.

A lot of people talk about the “hypocrisy” of the US empire, as though being hypocritical is the issue. But the complete lack of moral consistency in US imperial behavior is noteworthy not merely because of hypocrisy: it’s noteworthy because it shows the US empire has no morality.

Despite the astonishing deluge of propaganda and brazen government disinformation we’re being blasted in the face with painting the war in Ukraine as a fight between good versus evil, freedom versus tyranny, democracy versus autocracy, the truth is much less flattering to the imperial ego. In reality, the US is waging a proxy war in Ukraine for the exact same reason it remains close with Saudi Arabia: because it advances its own interests to do so.

That’s it. That’s the whole entire story. The US doesn’t care about Ukrainian freedom or Ukrainian lives, it cares about strengthening its Eurasian geostrategic hegemony, and it would cheerfully incinerate every Ukrainian alive in order to accomplish that goal.

A lot of commentators like to say the US government’s intimacy with Saudi Arabia undermines American values, but that’s not true at all. The US isn’t undermining its values by cozying up with Saudi Arabia, it is perfectly honoring and representing its values.

One only believes the US is undermining its values by partnering with Saudi Arabia if one assumes that US values include freedom, democracy, justice and peace. This is not an acceptable thing for a grown adult to believe in 2022. US values in the real world are domination and global power. That’s it.

Really if you think about it Saudi Arabia is just a more honest version of the United States. Its tyranny is right out in the open instead of being sneakily disguised under inverted totalitarianism. Its oligarchs and its official government are all the same people. It never tries to pretend its wars are “humanitarian” in nature. And when it wants to murder an inconvenient journalist it simply does so instead of dishonestly framing it as an espionage case.

In truth, when you look at its overall behavior on the world stage, the US is far more murderous and tyrannical than either Russia or Saudi Arabia . Pretending that Biden is lowering the United States beneath its values by visiting Saudi Arabia is highly flattering to the US. If anything, it’s the other way around.


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44 responses to “Biden’s Visit To Saudi Arabia Exposes The Ukraine Narrative For The Sham It Is”

  1. RE: “A lot of people talk about the “hypocrisy” of the US empire, as though being hypocritical is the issue. But the complete lack of moral consistency in US imperial behavior is noteworthy not merely because of hypocrisy: it’s noteworthy because it shows the US empire has no morality”

    I really like his summary. Thanks

  2. RE: “A lot of people talk about the “hypocrisy” of the US empire, as though being hypocritical is the issue. But the complete lack of moral consistency in US imperial behavior is noteworthy not merely because of hypocrisy: it’s noteworthy because it shows the US empire has no morality”

    I really like his summary.

  3. I’ve begun to believe that instead of facing its internal contradictions, American society is acting out a subconscious suicide wish, knowing that our collective amorality is simply too metastasized to heal our economic, political, and social bodies. The death throes will be difficult to watch.

  4. Michael Hudson has the context:
    Today’s global fracture is dividing the world between two different economic philosophies: In the US/NATO West, finance capitalism is de-industrializing economies and has shifted manufacturing to Eurasian leadership, above all China, India and other Asian countries in conjunction with Russia providing basic raw materials and arms.

    These countries are a basic extension of industrial capitalism evolving into socialism, that is, into a mixed economy with strong government infrastructure investment to provide education, health care, transportation and other basic needs by treating them as public utilities with subsidized or free services for these needs.

    In the neoliberal US/NATO West, by contrast, this basic infrastructure is privatized as a rent-extracting natural monopoly.

    The result is that the US/NATO West is left as a high-cost economy, with its housing, education and medical expenses increasingly debt financed, leaving less and less personal and business income to be invested in new means of production (capital formation). This poses an existential problem for Western finance capitalism: How can it maintain living standards in the face of de-industrialization, debt deflation and financialized rent-seeking impoverishing the 99% to enrich the One Percent?
    More context here:
    It seems that the West, without Russian energy and resources, especially Europe, must diminish as an economic center. TROTW (the rest of the world) also needs Russian resources. Russia is capable of militarily defending those resources, and is strengthening that position now.

    China is both economically powerful and internally very fragile as a society, and lacks essential energy and resources without imports. China needs Russian resources for the same reasons that Europe needs them

    My conclusion is that Europe will need to take Russia’s side over the Atlanticists (UK, US, Australia, Canada, NZ). Indeed, the Atlanticists, without global reserve currency status and incomes, and with massive $US debt defaults from TROTW, will ultimately need to join the new, egalitarian global trade order.

  5. Jimmy Dore interviews Richard Wolf, a couple of New Deal Democrats that I believe would both agree, you could teach advanced economics to kindergarteners using crayons and marbles.
    China is a country that has many tens of thousands of “economists” who relentlessly study the American economy of the 30s and early to middle 40s, looking for clues on how best to run an economy, and a consensus has been reached that the New Deal was reasonably effective, but what really impresses them is the economy of the United States in the direct run up to, and especially during WWII itself, when the United States underwent a veritable economic EXPLOSION.
    Bacically World War II was the Real New Deal … on extra potent steriods.
    So my question as a little kid, who had a great interest in the depression, because both my parents grew to adulthood during the 30s, and as someone who was fixated on WWII from about the age of 6, was “Dad, Mom, Uncle Bob, Aunt Millie, Teacher A, Teacher B, why can’t we just pretend we are fighting an existential war to death but instead of building ships and tanks and planes and going over there to kill people, instead employ everyone to build houses and schools and parks and high speed rail lines and have an army of people behind them making it sure it is all kept in good working order, forever and forever.
    And the answer always was of course, “You can’t pretend you are fighting a war, son. Now go outside and play.”
    China is pretending, at all times, that is fighting WWII.
    Too smart China. A nation-state functioning as a nation-state, that has goals and makes plans, in this clueless neo-liberal environment, is a lion amongst lambs.

    1. WW2 solved the perennial crisis of capitalism, overproduction, because it destroyed half the world. This might explain why FDR did everything in his power to sabotage Europeans working out a peace among themselves, and to repeatedly humiliate moderate elements in the Japanese government. And giving a war is the best way to suppress internal dissent, which was becoming organized, violent resistance led by militant American labor no longer fooled by establishment liberals or so-called progressive Democrats.
      Ironically, perhaps, what China is practicing today might be considered nationalist socialism, of the sort that so terrified both the capitalist and communist empires long ago.

      1. Long before the world was half destroyed. the US posted GDP numbers from 1941 to 1943 that averaged 18% per annum. We never came close to those type of growth rates again, in fact we never hit double digits again.
        During the course of the war the US produced 300,000 warplanes, 90% of which were scrapped within a year of the war’s end, and the rest were phased out as rapidly as possible. And that’s just one category. Basically, starting in late 1945, we scuttled the equivalent of ten of today’s Navies within a couple of years. I mean, we had 105 aircraft carriers of all types patrolling the world’s oceans when Japan surrendered, and less than 20 when Korea started in 1950.
        So, all meaninless production, for the most part, as far as the long term health of the nation is concerned.
        And yes, of course, China has studied the New Deal approach of Nazi Germany, especially the early years, when Germany went from being in the throes of deep depression in 1933, to showing off their booming economy and world leading lifestyles to everyone at 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
        “Hitler gave us jobs.” How many times was that offered as an exuse in the post war years. More often than any others combined, I would say.
        My contention is the type of political system is irrelevant in economic matters. It all comes to who controls the banks. If the banks work for the nation-state, it will thrive, and if they don’t, it most likely won’t.
        And the Fed, from roughly 1939 until the end of the war, was told to sit corner for a while until we sort things out, and when we’re done, you and the globalist capitalist class you serve can take the helm once more.

        1. And for sure, all Chinese economists know this chart by heart.

          Top marginal tax plumments in the 20s, there is a crash in ’29, and a 12 year great depression ensues. Top maginal tax rate plumments again starting in 1980, and every leading economic indicator, especially all the various debt categories, immediatley takes of on an exponential ride to moon.
          China taxes the shit of their 1 thru 10%, and if they try to evade, they are tried for treason and if found guilty, they are executed.
          You also need some modicum of loyalty at the top if you are to function on all cylinders as a nation-state.

  6. Thank you once again, Caitlin, for your razor-sharp, undiluted, direct and uncompromising analysis. My goal in life is to think and express myself as clearly as you do. Keep up the brilliant work!

  7. Caitin, you continue to hit it out of the park!!

  8. I suspect the gun control president who just spent 40 billion on guns for the other side of the planet might be a hypocrite.

  9. Philip Mollica Avatar
    Philip Mollica

    That should turn out well…

    1. That’s the shared laugh of men who lead nations that can each export more than 7 million barrels of oil per day.
      Or not. They could also, individually, stop exporting and wreck the global economy overnight, or they could combine forces and stop exporting as a two man team and destroy modern civilization as we know it.

  10. Reading other comments, the emphasis seems to be on Biden himself and terms like woke and wokeness are right wing memes to denote liberals are somehow mentally unstable. It’s clear that presidents don’t run the show. Both Trump and Biden have trouble sticking to the script as both seem cognitively challenged. The concern is the unelected so-called deep state which runs US foreign policy did not plan for energy and other supply chains and are now scrambling. So as well as being nefarious, are they also incompetent. Wait until Biden loses to a republican and the empire carries on despite politics.

    1. “The concern is the unelected so-called deep state which runs US foreign policy did not plan for energy and other supply chains and are now scrambling”.
      Let’s hope they just dunno what they’re doing (there are more sinister options considering the WEF’S proclaimed view of the future of mankind). However, if the guys paid gazilions of dollars to participate in the DC think tanks are that dumb (and we’re talking Guinness record dumb here!), the end is near…

    2. If the deep state wants to put these men (and soon to be women) out there as targets for me and others to criticise and condemn, I will gladly take my (verbal) shots at such transparent buffoons. I never forget the devils pulling strings behind the scenes, but they are difficult to identify because of the subterfuge which the media gleefully participates in. Kamala is next in line as designated fuck-up, and she will be shredded leading to some bozo who is given credence by the imbecilic public just because he or she is NOT a Democrat… and so it goes as described so aptly by Shakespeare in MacBeth.

  11. Mary Wildfire Avatar
    Mary Wildfire

    You got that wrong about maybe if Putin beheaded journalists etc, Washington would make nice. No, wrong action. The beheadings and bone saw work are irrelevant. If Putin turned over Russia’s oil and gas to Exxon-Mobil, THEN he would be a good guy after all

    1. Silver Damsen Avatar
      Silver Damsen

      Indeed, it is disgusting that the US and Biden is courting Saudi Arabia when Mohammed bin Salman is actually a worse abuser of human rights than Putin. So, yet again it looks like the real issue is the profits of the 1% with Putin excluded since Putin doesn’t like this game of the 1% that controll the US control the world. I’m not saying that Putin wouldn’t like to control the US himself, I think the indication is that if he could, he would.

      So, this isn’t to say that Putin is better than Biden even if it says that Putin is better than Mohammed bin Salman but all these folks are just so horrible that it is a competition for who is the most evil world leader today.

      1. pretzelattack Avatar

        I haven’t seen any indication that Putin wants to control the US, though I’m sure he would like to discourage it from attacking and destabilizing Russia.

      2. Putin never backed a coup in the USA.

        Biden backed a coup in Ukraine and the USA backed coup government advanced arms against the Russian border, contrary to the agreement with Gorbachev in Russia.

        If a world with a diminished threat of a Nuclear Holocaust is better, then Putin is better than Biden.

        Sending more weapons into Ukraine is provocative. Biden needs to recognize the USA violated its previous agreement with Russia and end its bad faith aggression.

    2. Harry S Nydick Avatar
      Harry S Nydick

      Except that Exxon-Mobil is so crooked and immoral (what major corporation actually is moral?) that I’ve boycotted it for more than 3 decades. Even if there were a gasoline shortage – and despite rising prices that’s not the case, for the U.S. has no shortage of oil, I’d go elsewhere rather than give one penny to that company. And, it’s not the only one that I boycott. Several others, but nowhere near a comprehensive list, are anything from Koch Industries, Nestle brands and products and Amazon.
      Convenience should never be a reason for anyone in our society purchasing from a company that will turn around and give the profits, to which you contributed, to some one or some thing whose primary fun in life lies in turning that money over to people and organizations who are psychopaths intent on making your existence worse in the long run.

  12. US first strike dreams are what got us into this proxy mess. ABMs in Ukraine! Not a bad idea if my country’s AMBs were worth a shit to begin with, or if we could actually set up shop in Ukraine without the Russian Federation objecting most vociferously, aka, taking that option away from us permanently, by eliminating it.
    “In the end, who can ignore such “lovely” systems as Poseidon.”
    I know I can’t. I tried to. For a while there I was like, “no way,” and then one day I sat down and thought about it, and it occured to me; a relative cheap device that create a wall of water 200 to 500 meters tall, and have those walls of water crash into American coastlines, is a hell of an effective deterrent.
    I mean, imagine a tsunami rolling over Florida east to west and crashing into the right flank of a tsunami heading toward Louisiana, and that’ll give you some idea of what a global thermonuclear war might look like.
    So it’s on to China! Taiwan, will you pretty please be our proxy?
    Note: A good vid in the comment section, courtesy of John Dragon.
    I never was much for patriotism, thought the idea of it to be strange, but around 2005-6 I finally decided I must accept that my country had disappeared without a trace. To continue to believe otherwise was to believe that dozens and dozens of miracles far greater than the Parting of the Red Sea all occurred on one day in one small sector of this planet in September of 2001, and I couldn’t do it.
    Ever since, I’ve come to embrace patriotism. In fact, the more my country offers daily proof that it no longer exists, the more loyalty I feel toward it.
    Is this paradoxical? Perhaps. But to paraphrase Walt Whitman, “You say I am paradoxical? Very well, I am pardoxical. I am large, I contain multitudes.”

  13. Just what favor is Saudi Arabia supposed to owe Clueless Joe, or what sort of bribe can the Saudis be expected to accept in return for such a heinous act that will be the deaths of so many more innocent people presently and for decades to come, through starvation and pestilence if not from his guns and bombs? The American dictator Biden is pure putrid reeking scum, defiling and polluting everyone and everything that comes into close proximity of the smug degenerate. He thinks guns are an abomination when they kill brown American kids, for whom I am sure he has no regard whatsoever, but they are just what the doctor ordered when it is Russians, Ukrainians and Ukie kids that stand to be rendered into bloody pulp by virtue of their use. I hope that even the vile Saudis will have their limits to the services they will provide for the entity which the Iranians call the Great Satan.
    Frankly, it’s about time for Lord Biden’s own lord and master Beelzebub himself to call his faithful servant home to Hell. Okay, the place and personage are probably just myths, like “freedom, democracy, peace and justice” in America, but their existence might even be worth it if such could bring Biden and his entire cabinet, likely all escapees from Pandaemonium, to cosmic justice. Every provocation of this abject disgrace just makes him more perfectly and completely loathsome, if that is even possible.
    It’s you, Big Guy. They are coming for you, soon enough, to confer your eternal “reward.” Meanwhile, your reputation will be forever cursed in this supposed reality of material existence. You have earned such a fate, your depraved majesty, whether you meet it or not, as you’ve brought the earth’s entire population closer to perdition every day of your worthless life.
    Thus be my homage to our most monstrous of American presidents.

    1. My only push back, as a fallen Buddhist, is to beseach you Realist, to forgive him, for he know not what he do.
      May “the thing” be with you.

      1. He forgives himself continuously from microsecond to microsecond as his monsters from the Id are set loose upon the world. He doesn’t need my forgiveness to continue his agenda.
        Which “Thing” exactly do you mean? The first one I ever knew was from the 1951 movie starring James Arness. Then there was the “Thing” from the 1982 movie starring Kurt Russel. Of course, there was a disembodied human hand called the “Thing” in the Adams Family sitcom and movies. About as charming as a giant spider loose in the house. Straining my engrams, wasn’t there a comic book character with an over-inflated physiognomy who was a life member in some band of super heroes. Were they the ones called the Fantastic Four, including a guy who emitted fire, a guy who stretched grotesquely, and a babe who helped introduce 1960’s sex drive to newly pubescent male adolescents? Such important “things” slip away from you when you’re 75 and counting. Can’t see any of those “Things” sharing a room with me at the old folks home, so it must be a different “thing” you have in mind that I should be with.

        1. Did you watch the video?
          The “thing” is what all men and women are created by, according to our current President.

          1. Oh, yes. Very clever. Charming singer.
            I was just recapitulating entities I’ve known that go by the name of the Thing. I don’t think I have a large enough sample size to ascertain exactly who or what may be Biden’s “thing.” The nuns in Catholic school told me 70 years ago that the creator was allegedly “God,” but they never volunteered any of his pseudonyms, certainly not the “Thing.” Personally, the alias I’d use for (what pronoun to use here?) would be the laws of chemistry and physics. Clueless Joe would probably respond: Dammit man, I’m a president not a scientist or even a naturalist.

      2. He knows. He graduated at the top of his class. Must have majored in smug degeneracy.

        1. Did you watch the video? Just wondering, because quite often I find the replies in this place have nothing to do with comment.

          1. Enjoyed it (before commenting) and very much enjoy your contributions, humor & insight.

            1. Thanks. I hope Realist watched it too. I consider it a can’t miss classic in the “genre.”

        2. Which is what a putrid reeking scum would do.
          By Jove I think I’ve got it. Biden’s “Thing,” or the origin of all reality, must be the Volkswagen Thing, which in German would be called the Volkswagen Ding, which was surely the ugliest car ever manufactured. I couldn’t live with that either.

  14. “Saudi Arabia reportedly considering accepting yuan instead of dollar for oil sales” (The Hill 23.03.22) might not be totally alien to Brandon’s puppeteers packing him out there, especially since last time we heard about that, MBS was not taking Brandon’s calls to talk about gas after the Ukrainian invasion as a retaliation for old Joe boasting he’d turn him into a pariah. MBS flatly declared in substance that Sleepy had better concern himself with what was going on in his own fucking country instead of breaking balls around. Plus Blinken lives in a parallel world having extremely tenuous links with reality. Maybe he thinks 1/ China only buys a couple of gallons a year from Arabia, which gives the US leverage 2/ China could not replace Saudi oil with Russian deliveries before you could say Jamal Khashoggi.

  15. So the president of wokeness himself scuttles off to the holy land to speak to one of the worst examples of the human race that exists, they say like attracts like, well how true those words are, when one looks at the west today and in the past one cannot help but think of Miltons poem about Lucifer: HOW CHANGED HE BE GNAWED AT BY THE WAY IT USED TO BE , how these people have sealed their own fate, and ours if we are not careful, heaven help us .

  16. Vera Gottlieb Avatar
    Vera Gottlieb

    How about punishing the US for all the years and years of misery and destruction it has caused all over the world??? What is needed more than anything else is a healthy and strong crop of gonads!!! to finally stand up to this hypocritical bully.

  17. Saudi Arabia. Does Joe’s visit have something to do with oil? As in help us out with the Ukrainian situation perhaps? If you do well, YA-MAN Uncle Joe can forget about Yemen.

    *treating anybody like cannon fodder means they could do it to you.

    1. Vera Gottlieb Avatar
      Vera Gottlieb

      Somehow to mind comes…the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Integrity?

  18. Is it just coincidence that a few weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine that there was a ceasefire in Yemen. I don’t think so somehow! The MSM has all but ignored it during the past eight years – and obviously didn’t want to bother their readers and viewers etc with it – BUT, if there’s a ceasefire and, as such, nothing happening, then not only can the MSM not be accused of not reporting on the war in Yemen to the same degree as the war in Ukraine, but they can totally focus on the war in Ukraine (and endlessly demonising Putin) without fear of being accused of double standards.

    1. “Is it just coincidence that a few weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine that there was a ceasefire in Yemen.”
      The Covid pandemic and its all consuming Narrative came to abrupt and mysterious end as well, which leads me to believe that Big Pharma, in a pinch, will always have to take a back a backseat to the immediate needs and requirements of the MIC.
      Big P does have Monkeypox and some other threats out there … looming, and should the MIC need to take a breather for a year or two, to better prepare for say, a China onslaught, then Big Pharma can take the center stage again, and receive top billing for a spell, until our War Machine is ready to crank it up for the umpteenth time.

  19. Don’t you understand. The US population wants our politicians to do anything, suck up to anybody to prevent our having to suffer like the rest of the world when the world goes to shit.

  20. US’s lured Saudi Arabia into the petrodollar pact by promising to supply them the most advanced weapons to use against their neighbors.
    Saudi Arabia at that time was a new and poor country.
    The petrodollar sponsored the rise of both Saudi Arabia and its state religion Wahhabism, which calls to kill those who do not follow bizzarre notions of Wahab, who married into Saud family, so now it is the family business.
    This literally resulted in radical terrorism that the US has been claiming to combat in the Middle East and now around the world.
    Radical islamic terrorism is literally paid for with US dollar.

  21. Ted Christian Avatar
    Ted Christian

    One of the more laughable DCisms is their labeling of the Saudi government as “moderate” despite the fact they chop people’s heads off with a sword for things like adultery and having a bad attitude. Makes you wonder what extreme would be.

    1. “Makes you wonder what extreme would be”.
      Maybe crucifying them head down for driving under the influence? :o)

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